the practice of archery vary widely. The use of a bow and arrow on a target
range is virtually unrestricted, but it's best to check your local archery club
or law enforcement agency to keep from running afoul of local rules. And no
William Tell stunts, please. Even the experts can't shoot an apple off
someone's head regularly. In target practice, look around before you shoot and
allow 30 to 40 yards clearance on each side and behind the target.
In the field you
may need a special hunting license if your state allows bow and arrow
hunting—and most do. Bow and arrow seasons differ from those for firearms.
Check with your conservation authorities. They can also tell you the best
times, places and weather conditions for the game you're after.
learned to shoot with reasonable accuracy you're ready for the woods. But take
it easy. Leave bears, wild boar and other such creatures alone until you can be
sure of getting them before they get you. Start with rabbits, woodchucks and
deer and don't be disappointed if you don't hit anything the first few times
out. It's difficult but practice will help. Before going hunting you can
practice by setting up a straw-filled burlap dummy about the size of your
prospective game. It will help sharpen your eye, especially if you try whirling
and shooting at it from all angles and positions.
Most of your
shooting will be from 30 to 50 yards, though at times you'll be much closer.
Learn to shoot quickly and judge distance accurately. Practice shooting an
arrow and reloading rapidly for a second shot. Your quarry may attack you.
Unlike gun hunters who wear bright caps to protect themselves, archers usually
wear green shades to conceal their approach from their targets. But if gun
hunters are in the woods, wear red for your own protection. High boots with
rubber soles are desirable as is a first-aid kit in case of injury. Always be
careful. Remember you're hard to see. Be sure to get permission to go on any
piece of land from its owner. He'll usually be glad to oblige and may be able
to give you helpful pointers. It's also a good idea to let a ranger, game
warden or someone else know where you are so they can find you in case of
accident. NEVER GO OUT ALONE. Always have at least one other person with you
for safety's sake.
There are more publications and books available than you'd think. The leading
magazines are Archery (monthly, $2.25 a year, P.O. Box H, Palm Desert, Calif.)
and the Archer's Magazine (monthly, $2.50 a year, the Archer's Publishing Co.,
1200 Walnut St., Philadelphia 7, Pa.). There are many good books on archery.
Two in particular will get your library off to a good start: Hunting the Hard
Way by Howard Hill (Wilcox & Follett Co., $7.50) and Hunting with a Bow and
Arrow by Saxton Pope (Putnam, $3.50). These should interest you whether you
decide you like archery or not. Chances are you will. Happy Hunting!
by The Know-it-all